April 6, 2022
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Online via Zoom
Associate Professor, Anthropology, George Mason University
Co-founder and CEO, Safetipin
Associate Professor, Centre for Urban Science and Engineering (CUSE), Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay
Associate Professor, Urban Studies & Director, Centre for Community Knowledge, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University Delhi.
Director, Nagarro & Founder Trustee, Raahgiri Foundation
Fellow, Centre for Policy Research
About the Talk
Delhi has been a fertile ground for urban studies as well as public policy scholarship across a variety of subjects including citizenship, urban planning, environment, education, governance and so on. Particularly, questions around people’s perceptions and negotiations with infrastructures and state institutions have recurred in academia and public debate. In recent times, digital and physical infrastructures have been repeatedly at the centre of popular debate, not just in the context of transportation (the Metro, flyovers, the BRT), but also smog towers for air pollution or CCTV networks for women’s safety. How do these infrastructures solve pressing urban problems? How do they alter opportunities and possibilities and how differentiated are these experiences for different kinds of residents? In this context, the recently published book, Metronama: Scenes From the Delhi Metro, published by Roli books, offers up the city’s famed Metro system as a frame to look at the complexity ad dynamics of the National Capital Region. This panel discussion brings author Rashmi Sadana in conversation with diverse experts to discuss how transformative infrastructures like the Metro reshape metropolitan spatialities, identities and citizenships.
About the Speakers
Rashmi Sadana is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at George Mason University. She received her Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley and was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University. She has taught as visiting faculty at IIT Madras and IIT Delhi. She is the author of Metronama: Scenes from the Delhi Metro (2022) and English Heart, Hindi Heartland: The Political Life of Literature in India (2012). She is co-editor (with Vasudha Dalmia) of The Cambridge Companion to Modern Indian Culture (2012). She was a columnist for DNA from 2013 to 2015 and has also written for India Today, The Caravan, The Hindu, Hindustan Times, and The Wire.
Kalpana Viswanath, a researcher and practitioner on gender-inclusive urbanisation, is the co-founder and CEO, Safetipin, a social enterprise that uses technology and data to advocate for gender-inclusive urban spaces and mobility. She is part of Delhi government Women’s Safety Committee and has worked as a consultant with UN Women and UN Habitat. She is a member of the Advisory Group on Gender Issues(AGGI) at UN Habitat, Board member of SLOCAT, ICPC and Jagori. She has received several awards and was listed among Apolitical’s 100 most influential in gender policy 2021.
Himanshu Burte is an architect, urbanist and Associate Professor with Centre for Urban Science and Engineering (CUSE), Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay. His current research and teaching are oriented by twin concerns for spatial justice and sustainability and focus on diverse urban transformations in India, especially those related to infrastructure projects. In 2021 he co-curated an online research exhibition titled Make/Break (https://makebreak.tiss.edu/) that focused on the quiet violence of Mumbai’s ongoing spatial transformation. In 2019 he edited a special issue of Marg titled Infrastructure as space: Development and its (Dis)Contents (2019). He has also published two books, Urban Parallax (co-edited with Amita Bhide; Yoda Press 2018) and Space for Engagement (Seagull Books, 2008).
Rohit Negi is Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Director of the Centre for Community Knowledge at Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University Delhi. Rohit’s interests are in urban and environmental change. His co-authored book, entitled Atmosphere of Collaboration: Air Pollution Science, Politics, Ecopreneurship in Delhi (Routledge), was published in 2021. Rohit is the co-editor of ‘Space, Planning and Everyday Citizenship in Delhi’ (Springer, 2016). His writings have been published in several journals including Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Geoforum, Journal of Southern African Studies, and the Economic and Political Weekly.
Sarika Panda Bhatt is Director in Nagarro and founder Trustee of Raahgiri Foundation. She leads the Raahgiri Day movement towards people-centric streets in Haryana and Delhi and helps other cities to replicate this hugely successful concept. Sarika has about 15 years of experience in the field of urban development, transport, environment and architecture. She was selected by TUMI, Germany as one of the 60 global women leaders making a change towards sustainable mobility. In 2019 Sarika was selected as the bicycle mayor of Gurugram by BYCS, Netherlands.
Mukta Naik, a Fellow at CPR, is an architect and urban planner. Her research interests include housing, urban poverty and urban informality, with a focus on understanding the links between internal migration and urbanisation in the Indian context. She has previously worked on a number of community-based interventions to improve housing in informal settlements and also serves as a Trustee for a Gurugram-based NGO and a Netherlands-based Foundation.